(Inspired by this set; the a/u where Tony dies at the hands of the Mandarin.)
Rhodey finds her in the kitchen, with a plate of gluten free waffles on the counter in front of her. He’s not surprised; the mission in Sacramento must have used up a lot of energy.
"Don’t just stand there lusting after my plate," Pepper chides him, and the smile these days almost doesn’t look haunted anymore. "Come in and make yourself something to eat."
Rhodey does, and he wonders if he’ll ever get to used to the quiet of the kitchen. Before … before the Mandarin, he’d been getting used Pepper and Tony sharing a kitchen. That house had been full of noise, full of robots and JARVIS and Tony’s constant chatter.
But this is a different house, and the counter where he makes his sandwich is purposefully smaller. Not out of necessity, because Pepper is still CEO, but out of preference, because she is not a Stark.
And she’ll never be one now is not a thought that Rhodey wanted, but it it is one that comes to him as he puts the mustard back into the refrigerator.
"Light lunch," Pepper notes as he sits down. She spears a forkful of waffle and waits for an explanation. Lately they’re enough of a team that she is going to notice something as simple as the height of his sandwich being off.
It’s a Pepper trait, enhanced by recent events.
"I had steak in Toronto," he tells her. "With an old friend."
"Did he invite Captain America along, too?" Pepper asks and the hesitation is there. She’s not actually met Captain America before; all she has is old stories from Tony, history books, and news footage.
But Captain America is - was - part of the Avengers Initiative. He’s forever linked with the part of Tony’s life that made the man Rhodey and Pepper both loved miserable.
It’s not Captain America’s fault. It’s not the Avengers’ fault. But it is what they both think of when they think of the participants in the Battle of New York.
"He did. The two of them … they’re partners these days." Rhodey shakes his head. "Not surprised really. Wilson always aimed a little higher than others. That he couldn’t let the wings go and ended up being a goddamn superhero isn’t a surprise."
"So says War Machine," Pepper teases.
"I do what I always do: clean up messes. Iron Woman, she’s a hero."
"Iron Woman cleans up messes too. I’m pretty sure that’s in the superhero job description." She takes her time scooping up the last bit of maple syrup with the edge of her fork and Rhodey watches her, still unsure how to bring up Wilson and Rogers’ request.
But she takes care of that. “Tell me what you’re stalling about, Jim.”
"They need our help. Both of them - Falcon and Captain America," he explains.
And help is something Rhodey and Pepper both offer. They offer it constantly, hoping it will sooth the hurt, even though they both know that it won’t. They help because it’s an extension of the jobs they both originally picked, only in roles they never dare imagined.
But they don’t team up with Avengers, because that is the kind of pain that picks at a wound that still hasn’t scabbed over.
"It must be important, if you’re wanting to play superhero team-up with an Avenger," Pepper says, and she almost sounds angry.
He’d love to hear her sound angry again. It’s been -
"They’re searching for Rogers’ friend," Rhodey explains.
It’s all he needs to explain, because she was there during those months he searched the desert, too.
And maybe that is why she gives the answer she does. Maybe that is why, after she takes her plate to the sink and takes a long time rinsing it off, she straightens her back, takes a deep breath, and says, “Tell me about the friend.”
An hour later, the two of them arrive at Captain America and Falcon’s hotel room.
Steve doesn’t ask, because he doesn’t have to; the look on Sam’s face says very clearly that the search for Bucky hasn’t made any progress during the time that Steve’s been called away to deal with killer robots.
As for Sam… he doesn’t really have to ask, because what Steve’s been up to has been all over the news. And hell, Sam’s had his own up close and personal adventures with Tony Stark’s goddamn mess while also holding down the fort at crappy little hotel playing headquarters for Mission: Find Bucky, so asking isn’t necessary.
So he doesn’t.
Instead, he goes to the bathroom of their shitty hotel and draws a bubble bath. It’s barely big enough for the super soldier to fit in, but Steve looks like he needs to soak and it’s hard for Sam to leave the pararescue part of him behind sometimes.
"A bath. God, does that sound incredible." Steve’s clothes fall to the floor in record time and Sam does notice the cuts and bruises - that might not even be there in two days - just as much as he recognizes the fact that this is the first time Steve has ever not immediately picked up his clothes to fold them nicely in the way that either Sarah Rogers or the army drilled into him.
Steve’s legs are too long, and his chest too wide, and the phrase ‘sardines’ comes to Sam’s mind immediately, even before Steve leans his head against the tile, looks up at Sam, and pleads, “Join me.”
"There’s no room, man," Sam points out.
"Makes you have to be closer to me," Steve answers and the grin is slow in coming, as if he’s not quite sure whether to joke about it or not.
"I never need an excuse for that," Sam says, before his clothes join Steve’s on the floor.
"I missed you," Steve says honestly, his voice hoarse, whether from emotion or the bruises on his throat, it’s imposible to tell.
"I missed you too," Sam says. "I’m glad you managed not to get eaten by a killer robot."
Steve’s laugh echoes off the tile as Sam and Steve’s limbs intertwine.
|lady-alternate asked: I can't remember whether I suggested Anya Corazon / Jessica Drew Inappropriate High School girlcrush or not. I'd just woken up and was hella drowsy.|
The thing about Kate was that she was always, always very assertive, and so it was really no surprise to Anya or Rikki - or the surrounding lunch tables, really - when Kate came into lunch ten minutes late and slammed her English books a little too hard on the table.
"Rough day?" Rikki asked, looking up from the math textbook that she’d been frowning at a few minutes before.
"I don’t want to talk about it." Kate slumped down into the chair and opened up her bagged lunch with the same dramatic flair that she had exhibited when she’d entered the lunch room. "All that is relevant is that Mister Barton is still unqualified to teach, Certain Little Boys in the Classroom are going to get punched before the end of the week, and did I mention that Barton doesn’t get that monitoring the untrained puppies is his job? And .. Where is everyone else?”
"America’s moms are pissed that she’s only getting a B+ in bio, and Cassie offered to help her out. So they’re out in the library," Rikki explained. "And the boys - "
"Boys are stupid," Kate snapped as she pulled open her yogurt. "Stupid and arrogant. They can just stay gone with their stupid arrogant selves if they don’t want to join us for lunch.”
"Someone call you arrogant again?" Rikki asked sympathetically, because it was the best she could do. She wasn’t the right member of her family to rant about double standards and the patriarchy, and Aunt Sharon wasn’t here. But she’d listened to enough of Aunt Sharon and Aunt Natasha’s rants that she could say, "They wouldn’t do that, if you were a loud and opinionated boy."
"I KNOW, RIGHT," Kate said, stabbing her yogurt with the kind of frustration that wasn’t really necessary for a non-living target. But then she looked up and over at Anya and frowned. "You’re awfully quiet today. What’s wrong?"
In reply, Anya held up her algebra exam.
Kate looked at it, then looked at Rikki, and then looked back at the exam. “Um, I am confused,” she admitted, and most of the anger was gone out of her, because she was a little focused on Anya’s problem right now. “Are you … upset because you got 92%?”
"It’s a low A,” Anya told her fiercely
Kate looked at Rikki and Rikki wondered what the hell her life was. “This is more of Anya’s ongoing and inappropriate and creepy as hell crush on her math teacher,” Rikki informed Kate.
For the trope meme, someone gave me Bucky/Steve/Sam, curtain fic.
Or, Sam takes Bucky and Steve to meet his family.
A request for the trope meme asked for: Carol/Rhodey, 616, wing fic.
|countlessuntruths asked: Artemis/Kaldur, College AU.|
Excuse me, I seem to have forgotten what a drabble is.
|d-o-r-ia-n asked: Vulnerable!Sam prompt. Anything you want :D|
And you don’t have a place you can go (You put your head on my shoulder to cry) | Sam/Steve (past Riley/Sam, Peggy/Steve, Leila/Sam, and Bucky/Steve mentioned) | 3355 words | Tw: lots of discussions of PTSD
Summary: They’re usually patching up Steve’s wounds, but on this night, they’re going to work on Sam’s.
A/N: Got away from me a bit, and is somewhat a sequel to When in Doubt, Body Heat is an Excellent Excuse, but I don’t think that one is required reading to understand why Steve and Sam are stuck in Ohio on their road trip to find Bucky. The title comes from When I’m Gone
superactionfan said: sam/rhodey
"They give you a medal for saving the president with nothing more than a gun and a polo shirt, and here you are …. getting your dick sucked by a guy who committed treason," Sam says during what is turning out to be a very private digression from a party that is meant to celebrate said medal.
"If the medal’s going to bother you, I could take it off," Rhodey offers, glancing down at Sam; the groan that escapes Rhodey is due entirely to the fact that Sam is licking his lips in a way that would seem obscene even if the president wasn’t three rooms away.
"Nah, keep it on," Sam orders, and Rhodey thinks about reminding him that Rhodey outranks him by a lot, but then Sam’s mouth is on him and Rhodey’s focus shifts.
|countlessuntruths asked: For the 3 sentences: Kaldur/Kate Bishop, bets.|
"Whose team do you suppose is falling apart more while we stay on the beach and enjoy ourselves?" Kate murmurs into the patch of skin next to the gills on Kaldur’s neck.
He closes his eyes at the sensation, reminds himself that they are both ‘relaxing’ at the moment, despite what their state of undress may appear to say otherwise, and threads his fingers through the black hair sprawled over his chest.
"If we’re betting … I suppose it depends on whether or not the other Hawkeye is included in your definition of team," he says, and the frown is almost quick enough that he almost doesn’t see it.
Sam and Steve are going to find Bucky. Steve is sure of that. He’s also sure that he doesn’t want to put the list - or his life - on hold until then.
|gammacazador asked: Maria Hill/Sharon Carter Meeting each other for coffee and talking about their new jobs!|
Sharon smiles at Beth, and is grateful that, even after six months of Sharon being on assignment, Beth is still able to have her coffee waiting and ready to go when Sharon slides into the chair across from Maria at the little table they’d always preferred.
Maria looks at ease - relaxed even, which is weird - and her smile is just as butterfly-inducing as it had been when Sharon had been a green SHIELD recruit, when she says, “I’d complain about you being late, but I’m sure CIA missions in Madripoor aren’t any less complicated than SHIELD ones.”
"Just as much Hydra," Sharon says, before adding, "Now that we’ve talked about the people I’m able to kill, tell me about the ones you can’t over at Stark Industries."
|kitsune-jade asked: For the fic prompt: Are crossovers allowed? If so Bruce Wayne, Cap x Winter Soldier - til' the end of the line.|
When Bruce is eight years old, his world changes thanks to the loss of those he loved; gaining Alexander Pierce as a father does not end that pain, but it gives him the tools to direct that pain … productively.
When Bruce is 12, he begins his training under the Winter Soldier; four years is enough time for his affection to grow beyond that felt for a teacher, and he cannot tell if Father approves, disapproves, or is amused (though, Bruce never protests the “procedure” that is required for The Soldier, so perhaps that is all that matters to Father.)
When Bruce is 19, he experiences the loss of two men he loved thanks to a man he now has reason to hate; gaining the Batman identity does not end that pain, but it does give him the tools to direct that pain … productively.
|sneakronicity asked: Prompt: Sunrise. Characters: whichever character(s) you want. :) I hope today is a better day for you.|
Because you left awesome things in my box earlier, have some of your ship.)
It is not the first time that she has awoken to the feeling of Clint’s fingers brushing over the scar that the Winter Soldier gave her, but she raises an eyebrow at him just as expectantly on the morning after she’s left Fury’s “grave” as she has each time before.
"I’m glad you came home safe," Clint says softly, because here, in the early rays signaling the start of the day, two people who have made careers out of lying to everyone can be truthful with each other.
Natasha reaches up then, lets her fingers brush over the spider necklace around his neck, the one that matches her arrow necklace,and thinks that this is the best cover she’s had in a long time.
|blakefancier asked: Okay, for the three sentence meme: Sam/Steve; flying.|
The helmet hair is pretty impressive, and Sam isn’t sure he trusts anybody who claims otherwise; he knows he doesn’t trust anyone who says they don’t at least want to pet that hair on top of Steve Rogers’ head when he takes the helmet off.
(Sam, of course, wants to do a lot more than pet it, and once their relationship has gone to that place, it’s a struggle every day not to be a smug asshole to everybody he meets just because he is the one tugging on Steve’s helmet hair while Steve comes apart beneath, above,and beside him and they aren’t.)
But the helmet hair is nothing when compared to the hair that Steve gets on that first flight without a helmet at all; the fact that he gets to tug on that is something that Sam really is going to be a smug asshole about (just as soon as they get around to leaving the bedroom.)
Saturnofthemoon asked for Sharon/Natasha
The first night they spend together is frenzied, far too brief to be called a “night,” and yet they manage to break no less than fourteen regulations - half of those are against fraternization, and the other half are against “inappropriate use of S.H.I.E.L.D. office space.”
The second night together is longer, but desperate, and there are no more S.H.I.E.L.D. regulations to break, because there is no more S.H.I.E.L.D.
On the third night they spend together, Sharon’s CIA badge is placed next to Natasha’s gun, and they take their time in the discovery of familiar ground.